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Hotarubi no mori e (2011)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 867 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 2 critic

Hotaru is rescued by a spirit when she gets lost in a forest as a child. The two become friends, despite the spirit revealing that he will disappear if he is ever touched by a human.

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Title: Hotarubi no mori e (2011)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Hiroki Goto
Asami Imai
Taya Jun
Ayane Sakura ...
Takegawa Hotaru (voice)
Izumi Sawada ...
Mom
Kumiko Tashiro
Koki Uchiyama ...
Gin (voice)
Kanehira Yamamoto ...
Shadow
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Storyline

Hotaru is rescued by a spirit when she gets lost in a forest as a child. The two become friends, despite the spirit revealing that he will disappear if he is ever touched by a human.

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Plot Keywords:

spirits | folklore


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17 September 2011 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Into the Forest of Fireflies' Light  »

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User Reviews

 
A sweet little fairy tale
26 April 2012 | by (Israel) – See all my reviews

A young girl is lost in the forest, and rescued at the last minute by a strange boy, who may be a spirit in human form. She returns to meet him every summer, as she grows up and he remains the same; over time they develop a special friendship, but the boy warns her that because of a curse which was placed on him, they may never touch.

Hotarubi no mori e is a sweet little fairy tale, that draws heavily on Japanese tradition and mythology. It's a pleasant enough watch, more lyrical and sensitive than most anime I've seen so far, and the very short runtime (under 50 minutes) ensures that it doesn't overstay its welcome. That runtime also makes it very unsatisfying, though; it's frustrating when you realize that, even if it were only over an hour long, it would get boring quickly, mainly because it has very little to offer. Hotarubi no mori e has some pleasant atmosphere, but no character development, no original design, and no real point or moral at the end.

Hotarubi no mori e seems to be heavily influenced by the master Hayao Miyazaki - mostly because both draw from the same myths and share the same elements. That natural and instant comparison does it more harm than good, though; it's just not as good as Miyazaki's work, it doesn't achieve the same level of audience involvement, it doesn't feel as real, and the animation is far from being on the same level. The animation in Hotarubi no mori e is pretty and pleasant, as is the story, and it's practically impossible to use stronger words to describe it. Pleasant but forgettable, probably worthwhile for anime fans but not much to write home about when we still have the genius of Miyazaki around.


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